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“Lots of problems.” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth

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Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   900 Blvd. Rene Levesque West, Montreal, Quebec H3B 4A5, Canada (Ville-Marie)   |  
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Special Price
15% off room rate
Ranked #46 of 168 hotels in Montreal
GreenLeadersSilver level
Vancouver, Canada
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
“Lots of problems.”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2005

I've never stayed at a Fairmont property before, but have admired many from afar (Empress Hotel in Victoria, Chateau Lake Louise, Banff Springs, Palliser in Calgary, Frontenac in Quebec City, Hotel Vancouver). I was genuinely looking forward to my four night stay at the Queen Elizabeth, and imagined luxurious accomodations and pleasant, courteous staff.

How wrong I was.

When we arrived in the evening around 8pm by car, no one was there to greet us, help us unload our vehicle or even hold open the door as we struggled to bring our luggage in. The inside was very dated (looked to be trapped in the late 50s/early 60s), the outside is a monolithic block (definitely not the "historical" or unique look of other properties) and definitely not up to the standards of their other properties. When we got to the room, not only did it resemble the interior decoration of a Super 8 motel, we also discovered that they had given us two double beds and not the single queen that I had confirmed during my reservation. When I went downstairs to see what had happened, the agent tried to blame the error on me and said that I "probably forgot to request it" -- not even an apology. But these were mere trivialities to what was to come.

Our first morning the electricity was out. Instead of being polite about it, the staff felt compelled to blast this information at 7:30am over their loudspeaker/intercom (again no apologies). If you were asleep, you wouldn't be after that! Not to mention that you couldn't even get ready for the day since you couldn't see a thing -- and we had to walk down sixteen flights of stairs to get outside. On our third day, the cleaning staff went on strike. Not that we knew about it until we came back from a long day to find that our room was still not cleaned and wondered why. I called downstairs to see what was going on, and was forced to sit on hold for over ten minutes. When I inquired why our room had not been cleaned, the woman snapped, "I know it has not been cleaned" and with further pressing, said that the cleaning staff was on strike and there was nothing they could do except maybe "send some clean towels up." When I suggested that maybe they could proactively give their guest a heads up, she claimed that they did not know about it in advance. (Funny, I thought the crux of most strikes rest on the fact that they make it known that they will be going on strike unless certain conditions or demands are met).

The concierge continuously had long lines, and their information/knowledge was very poor -- when we asked for dining recommendations at 8:30pm, they seemed baffled by thinking up such "late night" dining options. They were stumped by other fairly easy questions as well.

We also did not receive our newspaper the first morning, and the remainder of days we did not receive the newspaper we had requested. Normally I would overlook trivialities like that, but everything else was such a terrible experience that this was a cherry on top.

I consider myself well-travelled and have stayed at many kinds of hotels in many countries, but this ranks in the Top 5 Worst Experiences. I will not be staying at this, or any other Fairmont property in the future.

p.s. The location of the Queen Elizabeth is not nearly as great as it seems. You have to wind through a number of bizarre tunnels and staircases to get to the train station/Metro that it sits on top of. The Marriott and Sheraton nearby are much more accessible.

Also the valet service is very awkward. You have to take an elevator to the main floor, transfer, then either take the stairs/escalator or another elevator to reach it. Very annoying if you have any suitcases or are carrying anything heavy.

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (340)
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London
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2005

We booked an expensive trip to Montreal for the Formula 1 Grand Prix. As its just about impossible to find a decent hotel in the city on Grand Prix weekend, we chose from a list provided by the race organisers. The QE looked the classiest hotel so we took up the offer at CAD 532 per night with a three night mininum. We were checked in to a tiny room with the smallest bathroom I've ever seen in a hotel of any class. The decor was Seventies style and the wear and tear seemed to confirm this as the period of installation. It was the middle of a heatwave (mid-eighty degrees) and our air conditioner failed to produce any cold air at all leaving us to fan ourselves for most of the night. Our in-bath shower head didn't work and every flush of the toilet flooded the bathroom. After the second night we were told that we would be moved to an "upgraded" room. This was a room of the same pokey size with the same tiny bathroom but the decor was new and fairly pleasant, though this air con also failed to produce anything resembling cold air so another night in a sauna. There were some positives: check-in and out was very smooth for a busy weekend, and room service was excellent - fast, a full menu, some guidance from the person taking the order ("no need for a side salad sir, it already comes with one"), but, for a hotel claiming a five star rating and chargingover CAD 500 a night, there seems no reason to gamble on being booked into one of tacky unrefurbed rooms. Even the post refurb rooms, and particularly the bathrooms are way smaller than one will find at most other hotels in the city.

  • Stayed June 2005
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2005

When we got there we got to our room tried from a long trip (we call them road trips this one we travled from Georgia to Montreal)we saw there were ash trys in the bathroom! so i thought the french people love to smoke! So i tallked to the front desk and they said they messed up (expedia dident) so we got a room smaller by a foot in another side fo the hotel but the view was MUCH better.
The Breakfast Buffet is to die for with butler like peropl with the best hot tea ever, and it is connected underground to everything! al in al it was the best hotel iv'e ever stayed at i would defently suggest it, My son loved it!!

P.S. the picture is ot the view in our second room

  • Stayed July 2004
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Connecticut
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2005

This was our first trip to Montreal for a quick getaway. The location of the Fairmont could not be better. Underground access to the train and the underground city. The airport shuttle left us right in front of the hotel. Shopping, restaurants and tours were in comfortable walking distance. The staff was extremely pleasant, accomodating and knowledgeable. The interior, elegantly decorated. If you want elegance, service, access and convenience, the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth is the place to stay!

  • Stayed March 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, CA
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2005

We just returned from our first trip to Montreal, and our experience at Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth was overall quite positive. The staff (with the exception of one grumpy maid) was unfailingly polite and helpful. Three days into our stay, we requested a room change as we had some talkative, night-owl neighbors, and an even nicer room was found for us immediately even though the hotel was sold out. For location, this hotel cannot be beat. Directly beneath is the fabulous Underground City, the central train station, the Metro, and links to just about anywhere you want to go in the city. We liked the hotel restaurants, but also enjoyed the many less pricey dining opportunities in the Underground City. We would definitely stay at this hotel again.

  • Stayed March 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
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western mass
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
111 helpful votes 111 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2005

If you will be in Montreal in the worst weather then the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth is a good choice because of your connection to the undergound city. You can walk all over town without showing your face in the brutal Montreal winter. Otherwise the QE has awful service, housekeeping is a shambles and has a pretty bad attitude. THe room is nothing special though some have nice enough views. Ours had a view of the church next door which was very nice. The food in the main restaurant is atrocious for Montreal where even the little holes in the wall can ussually serve up a good meal. We had coupons for the breakfast buffet and it was not very good at all. No comparison to Hotel de la Montaign or Hotel Vogue. We were there for three nights and there was a plastic coffee stirrer on the carpet near our room for all 3 days.

  • Stayed December 2004
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
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A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2005

Stayed at the Fairmont in Montreal in January and had a great time! The service was excellent and the rooms (although a little small) were fabulous! The concierge, Joel was very helpful and really went the extra mile for us! I would recommend this hotel to anyone on business or if you simply want to be in the middle of it all.

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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Additional Information about Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth

Address: 900 Blvd. Rene Levesque West, Montreal, Quebec H3B 4A5, Canada
Phone Number:
Location: Canada > Quebec > Montreal > Ville-Marie
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Montreal
#7 Spa Hotel in Montreal
#21 Luxury Hotel in Montreal
#30 Family Hotel in Montreal
#33 Romantic Hotel in Montreal
#35 Business Hotel in Montreal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
At the center of Montreal's vibrant cultural and commercial district sits the city's grandest and most gracious hotel - Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth. Located above the train station (Via Rail & AMTRAK) and connected to the extensive underground city of thousands of boutiques, restaurants and cafes, and within walking distance of sports and cultural attractions, this Montreal hotel reflects the city’s distinct elegance and charm. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Hotel Montreal
Fairmont Hotel Montreal
Fairmont Montreal
Fairmont Queen Elizabeth
Montreal Fairmont

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